State-controlled fertilizer company Pupuk Indonesia is seeking to raise Rp 3.6 trillion — equal to $270 million — from a bond sale in July. (Antara Photo/Pradana Aditya Putra)

Indonesia Facing Agricultural Labor Crisis as Younger Generations Shy Away From Farming

BY :ALMIRA SHAE

AUGUST 12, 2016

Jakarta. Since Indonesia is running out of young farmers, a number of relevant authorities staged a discussion to talk about the younger generation's reluctance to work in the fields and how they hold the key to the country’s food supply.

The discussion was held on Thursday (11/08) in Jakarta and featured international organizations Oxfam Indonesia and AgriProFocus Indonesia, the People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty (KRKP) and local social agriculture organization Kuncup Padang Ilalang (KAIL).

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According to Oxfam Indonesia's director of economic justice Dini Widiastuti, the number of farmers in each household in Indonesia had declined by 5 million from 2003 to 2013, threatening the sustainability of Indonesia’s agricultural sector.

KRKP coordinator Said Abdullah said in 2016, the number of agricultural workers continued to decline.

"63 percent of the children of rice farmers, and 54 percent of the children of horticultural farmers do not want to become a farmer themselves. As well, 50 percent of rice farmers, and 73 percent of horticultural farmers do not want their children to become farmers. This contributes greatly to the decline in agricultural labor," Said said.

Tina Napitupulu, country network coordinator of AgriProFocus Indonesia, said younger people are shying away from farming because they do not see much promise in the profession.

"But people will always need food, so the agriculture business still presents a lot of business opportunities. The young generation should think about it that way," Tina said.

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